General Discussion :  Wet Plate Collodion Photography Forum The fastest message board... ever.       
Wet Plate Collodion Photography Forum 
Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: Yaquina ()
Date: December 10, 2010 10:07AM

Greetings all,

I recently joined this forum and thought I would introduce myself. My name is D. Geraths and I have been shooting wet plate for a short time. I have for many years been shooting period dry plate, film, etc, specializing in replicating Victorian Era photographic images.

I own Yaquina Photography in Salem, Oregon; a small Victorian Photography Studio complete with period correct sets, backgrounds, props, etc. Lately I have been shooting a lot of Victorian Boudoir.

Wet plate seemed like a logical choice for shooting in the field and for customers at reenactments and living history exhibits so I started shooting that format earlier this year.

Besides working in photography I also own Yaquina Exhibits, a small exhibit design/fabrication business so I thought I would use my research and shop to create a proper carry-all for my wet plate work in the field.

What you see below is my Itinerant Photographers Wagon. With the exception of the wheels, this wagon was entirely designed and built by me, using my research into photography wagons of the mid to late 19th century as a guide. As I am sure many of you know, from the mid to late 1800's there were hundreds of photographers travelling the county, many of them using wagons such as you see here, to pedal their photography services.

Although there are scant few remaining photos of these wagon designs, the few that do exist illustrate one thing, that no two wagons were alike. Some were horse drawn, but many appeared to have been hand drawn, pulled street to street by the roving photographer.

I thought that this was the most historically realistic way for me to peddle my services at venues and so far it has been a great success.

I have already posted this information at the Studio Q forum, but I thought I would share here as well since this forum seems to house more photographers familiar with the reenacting/living history type of venue.



Here is the wagon completely stowed and ready to move. You cannot see it in these shots, but the yoke slides underneath the wagon when it is not being pulled around so as to be less of a bother when the wagon is stationary. As shown the wagon is carrying everything I need to shoot in the field; including two WP cameras (allowing for 4x5, 1/4 plate and 1/6th plate images), tripods, chemicals, plates, portable darkroom and three gallons of water for rinsing.




Another angle of the stowed wagon.




This shot shows the wagon all set up and ready for business. The portable darkroom works very well and gives me more then enough room to work inside. I have a water rinse system that I designed to work in the darkbox that allows me to rinse the developers under running water.




The lettering painted on the darkbox I did entirely by hand with no stencils used. I wanted to make sure that the lettering would have all of the brush marks associated with hand lettering. The box is also fitted with a removable silver bath that slides out of the side of the box, giving me far more room inside to work.

Thanks a lot for taking a look and if you have any questions, please ask.

For those of you out there that shoot at reenactments, what kind of gear do you use?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: sean ()
Date: December 10, 2010 02:59PM

Beautiful! A really impressive piece of work.

Seán

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: phuphuphnik ()
Date: December 10, 2010 06:08PM

We've created a monster.
chriso

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: Ray Morgenweck ()
Date: December 10, 2010 11:00PM

Now we just gotta get you into a more period camera!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: Yaquina ()
Date: December 11, 2010 06:11AM

Actually, I currently use two cameras when shooting in the field. One is a Conley Portrait (from around 1910) and the other is a custom made 1/6th plate camera, very similiar to ones used around 1860-1890.

The Conley sports a very nice (and huge) Darlot so for the most part it very much looks the part, especially when I have my dark cloth hanging on it. The tripod shown in the pictures is of course a turn of the century Kodak. I have two original 1860's vintage tripods, but both are too fragile to be used safely. The kodak is very sturdy and for the moment I would rather live with the farby nature of it, then see my camera crash to the ground.

Until such a time that I either have the time to build my own 1860's portrait camera, or the money to restore an original. The cameras I currently use will do for this coming spring/summer vending season, perhaps the following year I will upgrade.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: Ray Morgenweck ()
Date: December 11, 2010 10:04PM

the only drawback in working like this is wind+varnish.

but you already know that.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: Yaquina ()
Date: December 12, 2010 02:09AM

If I flip the dark cloth up onto the support arms it allows me to varnish the plates in the cubby of the darkbox with my alcohol lamp. It cuts down the wind quite a bit. I assume you are talking about getting dust in the varnish?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: Eddie ()
Date: December 13, 2010 08:27AM

where are the handles for the wagon? how do you move it?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: dunniway ()
Date: January 02, 2011 03:55PM

D. Geraths (and other wet plate photographers) I really like your portable set up. Thanks for sharing.

Here is something you might like to participate in? I am doing a contemporary portfolio at the Luminous Lint site along with my Indian portfolio. I talked with Alan Griffin, the Luminous Lint site creator about this and he liked the idea. He would like to start with color contemporary views of 'us' re-enactor collodion photographers using portable/field dark rooms.

This would be a coat tail to the exhibition on his web site below. I am trying to keep the 'living history' views this time around. Maybe later we will just do portable darkrooms of any kind. He wants color images like you have shown here at least 1000 + pixel size. Yes, period collodion images are good too.

Would you consider forwarding me any images in this post, of you with your darkroom, just the darkroom, you working in your portable darkrooms, etc. I just need a caption/credit line so you can be credited in this online exhibition. Below are a few examples I have already. Thank you for a timely attention to this self promotion.

Email them to me at will@dunniway.com. Cheers>>>Will Dunniway

Here is a Dark tent period engraving woodcut exhibition last year in Luminous Lint. This is what started the discussion.
http://www.luminous-lint.com/app/vexhibit/_THEME_19thc_Studio_Dark_Tents_01/5/0/0/

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: phuphuphnik ()
Date: January 02, 2011 04:38PM

Now THIS is a compliment!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: Ray Morgenweck ()
Date: January 03, 2011 05:52PM

you know you GOTTA shoot these photos wetplate, dont you?? ;-)

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: Yaquina ()
Date: January 06, 2011 09:20PM

Email sent.

I would love to include some really good shots of the wagon and such, but seeing as it is not the greatest weather here at the moment it might take a couple of weeks before I can submit some.

Is there a deadline?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Itinerant Photographers Wagon... mid 19th century.
Posted by: dunniway ()
Date: January 14, 2011 01:05PM

Just email me these images posted here. I will keep you posted when I put the Luminous Lint exhibition together. My Mother is in the process of dying (1-3 months) so life took a quick turn on me. I will finish it sooner than later. Thank

email: silverandsun@mac.com

Options: ReplyQuote


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.